Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicks bricked to death at Lancashire farm

This is typical of younfsters of today

THE managing director of an East Lancashire farm where 100 chicks were bricked to death said she was ‘absolutely horrified’.

Police believe the birds died when a gang of five teenage boys forced their way into two pens at Knuzden Brook Poultry Farm in Haslingden Old Road on Tuesday night and hit them with bricks and rocks.

Debbie Lyons said: “It’s diabolical. Whoever has done this – they are mindless cowards.

"How can a chick defend itself?

“These children need to be found and stopped. I don’t understand the motivation behind it, except that it’s peer pressure and thinking they look big.

“I really hope that one of them in the gang really regrets doing this and comes forward.

“The thing is, one day it’s chicks, then it could be a cat, then it could escalate and we end up with a child being attacked in a playground.

“This is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen.”

The gang of five youths, aged around 17 or 18, were spotted outside a chicken pen by farm manager Matthew Hyland, 25, when he pulled his van up in the yard at 8.30pm on Tuesday.

Matthew said: “My passenger ran after the lads, and I drove the van to the next road to see if I could stop them, but they got away.

“It’s awful. We work with these chickens every day, feeding them, making sure they’re all right.”

Matt said: “If the youths had got into our control room and damaged it, then the whole operation would have shut down and with no heating.

"All the chicks would have died within five or 10 minutes.

“It could have cost us hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Anybody with any information should contact police on 08451 25 35 45 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Nato Planes drops Bombs on Libyan Rebels

Sky news

Nato has acknowledged its air strikes in "may have" resulted in the deaths of rebel forces on the ground in Libya yesterday - but will not apologise.
The military alliance did not know the rebels were using tanks, spokesman Rear Admiral Russell Harding said after the attack, which killed at least five people.
But a rebel commander earlier claimed Nato had been told the rebels were moving T55 and T72 heavy tanks from Benghazi to Brega.
General Abdul Fatah Younis said at a news conference in Benghazi that fighters and medics were among the dead after the bombing "carried out in error".
Saleh Faraj, a former soldier fighting with the rebels, said at least three rebel tanks were hit in the air strike.
"There was no fighting anywhere. (The warplanes) flew back and forth and then they struck our forces," said Faraj.
The incident came ater the rebels criticised Nato for failing to provide the assistance it requires.

This is how some American justify criminalty in Aghanistan

German news group runs photos of Afghan Killings

SEATTLE: A photograph of a US soldier smiling as he posed with the bloodied and partially naked corpse of an Afghan civilian was among those published digitally Sunday by a German news organization, despite attempts by Army officials to keep them under wraps as part of a war crimes probe.

The photos published by Der Spiegel were among several seized by Army investigators looking into the deaths of three unarmed Afghans last year. Five soldiers based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle, have been charged with murder and conspiracy in the case.

Officials involved in the courts-martial had issued a strict protective order, seeking to severely limit access to the photographs due to their sensitive nature. Some defense teams had been granted copies but were not allowed to disseminate them.

It was not immediately known how Der Spiegel obtained copies.

One of the published photographs shows a key figure in the investigation, Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, grinning as he lifts the head of a corpse by the hair. Der Spiegel identified the body as that of Gul Mudin, whom Morlock was charged with killing on Jan. 15, 2010, in Kandahar Province.

Another photo shows Pvt. 1st Class Andrew Holmes holding the head of the same corpse. His lawyer, Daniel Conway, said Sunday that Holmes was ordered ‘‘to be in the photo, so he got in the photo. That doesn’t make him a murderer.’’

The photo was taken while the platoon leader, Lt. Roman Ligsay, was present, Conway said. Ligsay has asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in refusing to testify in the legal proceedings against his troops.

Conway sought copies of the photographs so that he could present them to a ballistics expert, who he argued might be able to tell whether the victim had been struck by the weapon Holmes was carrying. His request was rejected.

‘‘I’m very disappointed that in an American judicial proceeding, I have to get potentially exculpatory evidence from a German newspaper,’’ Conway said.

A third photo depicts two apparently dead men propped against a small pillar. Der Spiegel said the photo was seized from a member of the platoon, but did not involve the deaths being investigated as war crimes. Soldiers have told investigators that such photos of dead bodies were passed around like trading cards on thumb drives and other digital storage devices.

‘‘Today Der Spiegel published photographs depicting actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States Army,’’ the Army said in a statement released by Col. Thomas Collins. ‘‘We apologize for the distress these photos cause.’’

The killings at issue occurred during patrols in January, February and May 2010. After the first death, one member of the platoon, Spc. Adam Winfield, sent Facebook messages to his parents, telling them his colleagues had slaughtered one civilian, were planning to kill more and warned him to keep quiet about it.

His father notified a staff sergeant at Lewis-McChord, but no action was taken until May, when a witness in a drug investigation in the unit separately reported the deaths. Winfield is accused of participating in the final killing.

Morlock has given extensive statements claiming the murder plot was led by Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who maintains the killings were legitimate.

Morlock told investigators he and Holmes shot Mudin without cause; Holmes says that he fired when Morlock told him to, believing that Morlock had perceived a legitimate threat.

Morlock’s court martial was scheduled for Wednesday. He has agreed to plead guilty to murder, conspiracy and other charges and to testify against his co-defendants in exchange for a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison.

One of his lawyers, Geoffrey Nathan, said while Morlock might be ‘‘physically responsible’’ for his crimes, including actions depicted in the photograph, ‘‘the people who are morally responsible are the American leaders who have us in the wrong war at the wrong time.’’

In addition to the five soldiers charged in the deaths, seven soldiers in the platoon were charged with lesser crimes, including assaulting the witness in the drug investigation, drug use, firing on unarmed farmers and stabbing a corpse.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Israel must accept it is not the only victim

It is refreshing to find that there are still people in the world, whose views are not tinted by the biased media prevalent in the western world.
I was heartened by two letters that appeared in the Scotsman. The letters are reproduced here.

Published Date: 27 April 2010

It is unfortunate that three of your contributors (letters, 26 April), supporters of Israeli policies, are unable to tolerate the views of Israelis/Jews with whom they do not agree.
Israel claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East – such democracy is not served by this lack of tolerance and has led to the continual state of military readiness Israel finds itself in.
The assumption that only it has rights and only it is a victim led to Israeli refusal to allow Armenians to erect a monument in memory of its own Holocaust victims (about 1.5 million people) near a Jewish monument.

It should not be forgotten that Israel was a nation born of terror, and in terrorism. No-one would deny Israelis a homeland, but they should examine the past from more than one perspective. British soldiers were murdered by the Hagannah and Irgun, British office workers were blown up in the King David Hotel; Israel continually takes land from its neighbours, bombs civilians indiscriminately from sophisticated air platforms and assassinates political opponents.

When Israel invaded Lebanon, 20,000 Lebanese were killed. Israel has ignored 63 United Nations resolutions, but any breach by Arabs is condemned. Israel will only be at peace when it acknowledges the aspiration to peace and happiness that others hold.


Rosemill Court

Newmills, Dunfermline

have often seen letters written by Joy Wolfe of Cheadle, Cheshire, in Scottish publications. It is a pity that she, Mr Grossman and Ms Selwyn have not acquainted themselves with the facts. For example, Ms Wolfe appears to believe that Israel was responsible for the invention of computers as well as mobile phones and various drugs.

I am a retired journalist, born in Edinburgh of Jewish parents. From the 1960s, I lived in London and travelled extensively in Israel and the Arab countries, carrying out, for four years, the research for my book, Prophets in Babylon: Jews in the Arab world (Faber & Faber). I visited Israel to write something about the 1967 war. I was appalled by the way the Palestinians were being treated by Jews who had taken over their country and were talking about "cleansing the land" as the Palestinians were forced out at gunpoint.

Ms Selwyn has written that "Gaza is not occupied by Israel but by Hamas, supposedly elected". Hamas was democratically elected and there was a cease-fire, which was ignored by Israel although not by Hamas.

Various human rights organisations have reported details of Israel's invasion and siege of Gaza from December to January, 2008-9, which followed an 18-month siege and blockade during which an occupied population experienced starvation, deprivation and trauma on a horrendous scale.

The invasion resulted in the deaths of 1,400 Palestinian civilians. More than 5,400 Palestinians received horrific wounds, burns and amputations. Ten Israeli soldiers were killed (four by their own fire) as were two Israeli civilians.


Nelson Street, Edinburgh

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nato strike kills 33 civilians in Afghanistan

BBC reports that at least 33 civilians were killed in a Nato air strike that included women and children in southern Afghanistan on Sunday.
Nato said it hit a suspected insurgent convoy, but ground forces later found "a number of individuals killed and wounded", including women and children.
The attack, in Uruzgan province, was not part of a major Nato-led offensive in neighbouring Helmand province.
Civilian deaths in air strikes have caused widespread resentment in Afghanistan, and embarrassment to Nato.

Last year, Gen Stanley McChrystal, the Nato and US commander in Afghanistan, introduced much tougher rules of engagement in a bid to minimise such casualties.
The BBC's Chris Morris in Kabul says three vehicles on a road were hit by the strike on Sunday morning. But Sultan Ali, the governor of Uruzgan province, told the BBC all of the dead were civilians.
McCrystal has apologised to President Hamid Karzai and pledged a full investigation into the latest deaths" I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people, and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission.

These tougher rules of engagement don’t seem to make any difference to fatalities.
Is this just paper exercise? Surely if these rules were being applied then there would be a difference. They keep saying we are here to protect the Afghan people. However they keep making these mistakes again and again and they will keep repeating it unless someone is held accountable. Of course that is not going to happen because Afghan lives are cheap. You can simply write it off as collateral damage and issue an apology. An apology is just meaningless to the people whose loved one have perished because someone else’s mistake. Foreign force are there to protect the Afghan people. Is is how one protects people?

These lives are cheap because they happen to be muslims..
Here is what has happened so far:

  • Sep 2009: Up to 140 civilians die in Kunduz province
  • May 2009: At least 26 civilians die in strikes in Farah province
  • Aug 2008: Ninety people killed in Herat province, UN says
  • July 2008: Raid in Nangarhar kills up to 47 civilians at wedding party

Whenever people in Afghanistan read of civilians being killed by foreign military forces, there is going to anger right across the political and social spectrum.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Impregnable cage for Gaza ?

Just when you thought thing cannot get any worse, apparent confirmation that the Egyption government is building an underground steel barrier that is 18 metres deep designed to cut off one of the few lifelines sustaining the Gaza Ghetto, the tunnel economy. The BBC reports that the huge underground wall will be 10-11km (6-7 miles) long, will extend 18 metres below the surface and will take 18 months to complete. The project has been shrouded in secrecy with no official confirmation from the Egyptian governmentI It is understood that the design is commissioned by US army engineers, at the request of Israel, Ann Wright surmises.
The 'impenetrable' barrier is made of super-strength steel. It is bomb proof and cannot be cut. It will unlikely to succeed in halting all smuggling as it will force Palestinians to dig deeper.
If this report is accurate, it would be a new low in the levels of inhumanity, absurdity and wretchedness to which the Israeli regime, with active Egyptian and US complicity, are subjecting the beleaguered Palestinians of Gaza.
Egypt is a Muslim state but is indifferent to the suffering of their fellow brothers in the occupied territories. How does the President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak sleep at night? It seems as the compassion has been sucked right out of his soul.
Only a just political resolution will put an end to the tunnels.
This Egyptian underground steel wall not be able to contain the survival spirit of the people of Gaza.